When you live with a chronic health condition or disability, especially if you’re a younger looking person, young adult, or an ambulatory wheelchair user, there’s a good chance that you will have been unfortunate enough to have experienced some negative & hurtful comments from people.
There’s the classic comments that people living with Invisible Disabilities will have heard, for example “You don’t look sick.” & “It’s all in your head.”
Then there’s the unfortunate comments that people living with Mental Health conditions such as Depression & Anxiety will have heard, for example “Cheer up.” & “Stop worrying about it.”
And if you’re an Ambulatory Wheelchair User? Wow! The looks alone can be upsetting! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been met by judgemental looks from people when we park our car in a Disabled Parking Space (I am a valid Blue Badge/Disabled Parking Permit holder) because I “don’t look sick/disabled” when I’m sitting in a car. These looks soon change when these people see my wheelchair but by then I’ve already started feeling awkward, embarrassed & like I have done something wrong when all that’s really “wrong” is that I have a neurological disorder which causes debilitating symptoms. It may be a brief moment of prejudice but that is still a brief moment too long in my books. It’s so important that we continue to raise awareness of the various chronic conditions & disabilities because it’s only through making people more aware these issues that change can happen & hopefully people with disabilities & chronic illnesses won’t have to deal with such rude, inappropriate & often upsetting remarks. In the meantime, when we heard comments that are hurtful or prejudice looks, we need to do our best not to let these remarks cause us any further damage or embarrassment – which is something that I definitely still struggle with a lot.
Stay strong, stay Mighty & by the best ‘you’ that you can be!
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